Caldor entered the hall to see the girl hurry out of her room and around the corner. There was no need to guess where she headed, since there were only two places the girl ever went in the afternoon.
The prince was likely finished his nap. Having the girl visit would cheer up the boy and put him in a good mood for his evening examinations.
Still, Caldor couldn’t help but notice a change in the girl over the last couple of days. He had seen her begin to distance herself from those around her. She avoided talking with Marcia and Foe. The girl didn’t even get upset at him for correcting her. The only person the girl didn’t avoid was Cáel.
Maybe she was busy with the translations? Caldor distanced himself from others when he was working on projects. The girl followed similar habits. She was close to the end of translating the almanac, which was likely putting a strain on her attention.
Liora didn’t want to be distracted. He could respect that, but Foe had mentioned his concern for the girl the other day when she hadn’t taken Druce. Caldor had covered for the girl, but Liora was usually willing to take the little boy for an hour or so to give Marcia a break.
Maybe she is not happy here? Caldor hoped that wasn’t true. The girl had done so much for everyone, and she would be greatly missed if she didn’t wish to stay. He enjoyed her pressuring him with her questions and reminding him to eat. She took care of him, remembered him, and made sure he was well.
No, the girl knew how much everyone cared for her. He was certain of that. Foe talked with the child, and Marcia showed she cared. The servants had done nothing but praise her, and Caldor… even he felt like he had been kinder to her than he would have with others he was teaching.
Maybe she is not well? Liora wouldn’t have gone near the prince if she was sick. She knew the danger that would put him in. No, this was something else.
“I know those furrowed brows, yah worried about something,” Marcia strolled out from one of the rooms behind him, her son on her hip. The boy was playing with his mother’s curls.
“About someone, actually,” Caldor corrected gently, taking off his glasses, wiping them before adjusting them back on his nose.
“Ah, Li,” Marcia nodded. Everyone was worried about the girl. “Didn’ know yah had a soft spot for the lil thing.”
“I do not,” he noticed the woman lift one brow. “I worry because her grandmother would be worried. Naygu would want her to be happy and healthy, and at the moment, she may not be either.”
“Uh huh,” Marcia adjusted Druce on her hip. The girl had been quiet but it was her lack of interest towards Druce that concerned her.
“Naygu was a good friend, and she would have wanted Liora to be with people that cared for her,” Caldor remarked.
The old woman had raised her daughter only to lose her to winter fever. Liora was all Naygu had to remember Suzara by and had taken the child in despite her age. The girl learned to care for the old woman even though it should have been the other way around. Naygu had felt guilty about that. Caldor couldn’t allow Naygu to feel guilty that she had left the girl alone in this world as well.
“Like yarself,” Marcia spoke with conviction. Caldor glanced up at her, a small smirk on his lips.
“You care more for her than I,” he waved his hand before shuffling off down the hall.
Maybe he was over-thinking what he was seeing? Maybe his worry about the girl’s wellbeing was making him see her recent activities as something else? There was nothing he should worry about. If the girl needed to talk, he believed she knew he was there to listen.